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Travel industry pushes stay-cations this summer amid easing of COVID-19 restrictions

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Tourism in Tucson and Arizona definitely took a hit during the pandemic. But there are encouraging signs it is on the rebound.

According to the Arizona Office of Tourism, Arizona airport passenger traffic in April was up more than 1,000 percent. Lodging was also up 88% in April. Estimated tourism taxes was up 47 % in March.

Dan Gibson, with Visit Tucson, said many hotels in the area are focusing on stay-cations this year.

"For Tucsonans, it's the opportunity to get into a giant pool," Gibson said. "Someone else is paying for the air conditioning."

Hotels, like the Hotel McCoy downtown, are offering value-added perks to attract clients.

"It's only for guests," said Nicole Dahl, Executive Director of the Hotel McCoy. "That's why we do the staycation specials so that Tucsonans can come here and get a room. Like with some of our specials you can get a room for $60. So if that's you and a friend you can get a room, a check-in drink and a free breakfast."

The hotel opened in 2018. Dahl says they are busier this summer than the previous two.

This is something she chalks up to pandemic restrictions being lifted.

"I think, in general, people just want to be anywhere and experience being a tourist because after a year being locked in your own home, it's like fine by me," she said. "115 degrees? I don't care."

Shelle Jackson

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